December 18, 2017

The Code: Aussie TV political thriller

I write about Foreign Crime TV with some regularity and fellow enthusiasts of the genre send me recommendations as well. One such suggestion was “The Code,” an Australian television political thriller currently available on Netflix.

The first episode had me a little confused until the final half grabbed me and held my attention throughout the rest of the short series. Of immediate interest is the gorgeous Australian cinematography, the clever use of tech images and the cast of characters including people of aboriginal and Iranian origins.

Several actors play roles that are departures from previous television outings. Playing a ruthless politico is Aden Young, a Canadian actor whom viewers may remember from “Rectify” where he plays a low-key ex-con. More surprising is American actor Ashley Zukerman who played one of the young Los Alamos scientists in the acclaimed WGN tv show “Manhattan.” In “The Code,” he is a young Australian computer whiz who is also the mentally unstable brother of a political journalist. Lucy Lawless whom viewers have seen in Xena, Battlestar Galactica and Spartacus is cast as a less than glamorous teacher in a small Aussie town.

Political intrigue, murder, immigration, environmental pollution and the Australian intelligence all figure into this smart package of six episodes. It also explores the challenges of being your “brother’s keeper,” when that sibling hacks into dangerous internet terrain. This show demands concentration but rewards us with an interesting mixture of politics and intrigue down-under.

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